“We are calling for a genuine review of the Oil Deregulation Law.”
This was labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno’s statement today, as it responded to Pres. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III’s order to government agencies to review the law deregulating the oil industry, amidst widespread protests against the high and still-increasing prices of petroleum products.
“The Filipino workers, drivers and people want a genuine review of the ODL beyond the Aquino government’s usual lip service and pa-pogi,” said Lito Ustarez, KMU vice-chairperson.
“We do not want another fake Arroyo-type review like the one conducted in 2005 which only ended up dismissing all the issues raised against Oil Deregulation Law,” he added.
“We will look closely into the review, especially because the president was only forced to announce it in a dialogue with transport groups with the purpose of averting a transport strike,” he said.
KMU slammed the president for his views on the oil industry, citing deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte’s statement that “the President… believes there is more room for competition.”
“If the president uses the review to validate the predetermined and erroneous conclusion that what is needed is simply more competition in the oil industry, then we are in for the retention and worsening of the Oil Deregulation Law,” Ustarez said.
“It is precisely the lack of competition endemic to the oil industry which should be investigated and dealt with by the government,” he added.
“For many observers of the oil industry, and for the Filipino workers and people, the question is not whether or not there is a monopoly in the oil industry. The question is: What is the government going to do about it?” Ustarez said. Lito Ustarez, KMU Vice Chairperson